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Operating expenditures of each of the the libraries at the Autonomous Universities and Polytechnics

Published Date: 02 September 2019 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Assoc Prof Walter Theseira, Nominated Member of Parliament


To ask the Minister for Education for each of the last three years, what are the operating expenditures of the libraries of each of the Autonomous Universities and Polytechnics, broken down by (i) electronic database/electronic journal subscription costs (ii) physical book/journal/media acquisition costs and (iii) staff/administration costs.


1. The expenditure on libraries varies across IHLs, depending on the volume and type of research they undertake, the range of academic disciplines they offer, the size of the student and faculty body, and other factors.

2. Over the past few years, operating expenditure on libraries ranged between $1M to $6M per year, across each Polytechnic. For the AUs, their library expenditures ranged from $1M to 32M per year. This works out to be between 1% to 4% of the total operating expenditure for each of the IHLs.

3. Table 1 shows the breakdown of the library operating expenditures for AUs and Polytechnics.

Table 1. Breakdown of AUs and Polytechnics Library Operating Expenditures

Polytechnics AUs
Electronic databases and journals (%) 14% - 26% 40% - 54%
Physical resources (e.g. books, journals and media materials) (%) 40% - 54% 3% - 8%
Staff / Administrative / Miscellaneous (%) 57% - 77% 57% - 77%

4. The IHLs have put in place measures to share resources across institutions through inter-library loans, so that students can have access to more library materials than those in their own institutions. For example, the AU libraries are studying the possibility of joint subscription of e-resources. The IHLs will continue to work together to enhance such efforts.